EAST LANSING — Michigan State University has begun the process of firing Mel Tucker from his position as head football coach.
Alan Haller, the school’s athletic director, sent a letter dated Monday informing Tucker, 51, that MSU was considering terminating his contract for cause.
“The University has become aware of various facts that have led to the unfortunate decision to terminate your employment for cause,” the letter sent to Tucker read. “At this point, the University has assembled a body of undisputed evidence of misconduct that warrants termination for cause.”
Haller suspended the fourth-year head coach on September 9 after a USA Today article detailed allegations of sexual impropriety during an April 2022 phone call with Brenda Tracy, a prominent national women’s rights advocate. victims of sexual assault. Harlon Barnett has taken over as the Spartans’ interim head coach.
“I have, with the support of the administration and the Board of Trustees, provided Mel Tucker with written notice of my intent to terminate his contract for cause,” Haller said in a statement. “This notification process is required as part of its existing contract. The notice gives Tucker seven calendar days to respond and present reasons to me and the Acting President why he should not be terminated for cause.
“This action does not terminate the pending case with the Office for Civil Rights; this rigorous process will continue.
Tucker signed a 10-year, $95 million contract on November 24, 2021 while leading MSU to an 11-2 season and a top 10 finish that season. He was hired on February 12, 2020 and would finish with a 20-14 record with the Spartans.
Jennifer Z. Belveal, Tucker’s attorney in the university’s Office of Institutional Equity in the investigation into Tracy’s allegations, could be immediately reached for comment.
Since the USA TODAY article was published, Tracy has accused Michigan State or someone within the university of leaking her name to the media and said she has spoken separately with USA Today in order to to share his story.
The university said it had hired law firm Jones Day to investigate the “alleged breaches” of confidentiality.
Former MSU head coach Mark Dantonio has returned since Tucker was suspended to serve in an advisory role while secondary coach Harlon Barnett has been named interim head coach. In their first game in charge, the Spartans were blown out 41-7 at home against Washington.
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